Here are a few tips that help you understand how to break the big news of welcoming a new sibling to your toddler.
So, you’ve realized that you’ll soon be welcoming a new member into your family! A new baby- Mazel Tov!
A few things are more exciting than knowing that another little one is going to make his/her way into your life.
And while you may feel that you’ve amassed enough parenting experience in the process of raising your first toddler, remember that you need to prepare him to deal with the arrival of a sibling. I bet you weren’t prepared to deal with this!
Fret not, for mentioned ahead are a few tips that will help you understand how you can break the big news to your toddler.
Talking To Your Child
Once you reveal to your child that he will soon have a younger sibling, you’ll probably still have a few months to go before giving birth. Use this window of time as an opportunity to figure out how much he wants to be involved in the preparations.
It is likely that your child will not talk about the coming baby all the time, but you can continue to answer questions as and when they come up.
You can help your child feel connected to the unborn baby by letting him feel the baby’s kicks once they’re prominent enough. You can ask him to sing to the baby or invite him to tag along with you to a short prenatal check-up to hear the baby’s heartbeat.
Always make it a point to talk about the unborn baby in a positive manner. Don’t talk to him about pregnancy problems like morning sickness, swelling of limbs, or fatigue. If you must say something, tell him that this is normal and you underwent the same things while carrying him.
Helping Your Toddler Understand The Situation
It can be difficult for toddlers to understand situations that are alien to them. Most will have a hard time imagining what it would be like to have a newborn baby around all the time. Depending on their level of maturity, you can start preparing them by giving them simple facts such as how the baby will be helpless and unable to play with him at first.
Also tell your first-born that the baby will be sleeping, feeding, and crying most of the time, but that you all will be able to hold its hand, and touch its cheeks and toes.
It makes sense to remind your toddler that he came into the world in the same way by revisiting photos of when you were pregnant with him, and also his own baby snaps. You can tell him stories about what he was like as a baby, and describe your excitement during his birth. Doing so will make him realize that he did receive a lot of special attention as a baby and all newborns need that.
If you have relatives or friends who have babies, you can visit them with your toddler in tow. Being around babies will give your child an understanding of what they’re like and develop ways of interacting with them.
As a parent, you want to always protect your child. The idea is to make the inclusion of a new member in the family as normal as possible for your toddler. Make sure your child continues to live his normal life during and after your pregnancy. Keep him/her amply occupied with constructive hobbies such as swimming. Of course, make sure he/she is always safe when indulging in it. Be present and do not hesitate to contact drowning accident lawyer if you feel that your child has been harmed in the pool due to the negligence of the pool authorities. In short, do not let your elder child feel neglected.
Breaking The News At The Right Time
Once you realize you’re pregnant with your second child, you may think that there will never be a right time to disclose this to your first child. You may be partly right!
It might be a good idea to wait until you’re safely through the first trimester. Of course, a lot depends on the age and maturity of your older child. Telling them way in advance may make it difficult for them to gauge the situation. Also, they may accidently end up spilling the beans to all and sundry, which you might not want.
On the other hand, some children are extremely perceptive and may notice that something is happening to their mother. Not knowing exactly what is going on can make them anxious. Every parent knows their child best. So, trust your instincts and make the call on when to tell your child.
Whenever you choose to tell your child about your due date, try and pair it with a familiar milestone; for example, say that the baby will be born around Christmas, or at the end of the summer, and so on.
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Preparing For Impending Changes
Slowly and steadily, inform your child that the arrival of the baby will mean that there will be certain changes in everyone’s life, including his. Keep things short and simple to avoid awkward questions that complicate the situation.
As far as taking them along on prenatal visits is concerned, each parent can decide on this keeping in mind their child’s age and temperament. Looking at the ultrasound machine and listening to the baby’s heartbeat may fascinate some kids, but cause confusion and anxiety in others. If it’s scary for your child, refrain from taking him/her along to future appointments.
One of the biggest changes that your child will experience would be making room for the new baby and its crib. This means a move for the soon-to-be older sibling. Make sure that you don’t start with making this transition too close to your due date to avoid giving rise to feelings of resentment towards the baby.
If your older child needs a crib too, make other sleeping alternatives for the new baby as a safe way out of the situation. Moving your older child too early may give rise to another set of problems, which may create problems in your newborn’s sleeping schedule.
If you plan to move your child into a new room, make the change a few months prior to baby’s arrival, but certainly by the eighth month. Alternatively, you can wait a few months after the baby’s arrival to make the change.
Dealing with your toddler patiently is key to ensuring that his transition from being the only child into that of an elder sibling is a smooth one. Remember, you were once a baby too. Give your child ample time and space to come to terms with the new status quo. The above tips should help your little one deal with this tricky situation effectively. They should also show you how you can help him bond with the new little bundle of joy on the way.
Rachel Oliver is a thought leader in laws dealing with personal injury, drowning accident lawyer and related niches. Updated with the latest happenings in the legal world, she shares her experiences and anecdotes through her write-ups on various websites.